Cinnamon & Date Loaf

Cinnamon & Date Loaf

  • Serves: 1 loaf
  • Prep Time: 00:20
  • Cooking Time: 00:35
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A moist, dense loaf packed with the sweet-mild flavour of cinnamon, the caramel flavour of dates and a little crunch from walnuts. Date Loaf was a childhood favourite of mine and it's really satisfying to have made a healthy version that will nourish my body. I've used real or true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) but if you only have Cassia cinnamon (known as "fake" or Chinese) use a little less as it has a stronger spice flavour. You can check out more about cinnamon HERE in my blog, plus its wonderful health benefits).

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • 1 3/4 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp golden flaxseed meal (fine ground)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 Lge egg(s)
  • 150ml (2/3 cup) canned coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup honey (unprocessed)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • 10 (1 cup) Medjool date(s), pitted and chopped
  • Optional topping: 2 tsp honey (unprocessed), and a sprinkling of cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 170c (fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a 21 x 11cm medium-sized loaf tin with baking paper.

Add the almond meal, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and mix well to remove any lumps. Stir the walnuts through the dry ingredients.

Add the eggs to a medium bowl and whisk well. Pour in the coconut cream, honey and vanilla. Whisk well to combine all the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until fully combined, then add the chopped dates. Stir to distribute the dates evenly before the mixture starts to thicken from the coconut flour and flaxseed meal.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly and smooth the surface.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden on top and cooked through. Turn off the oven and remove the loaf, drizzle two teaspoons of honey over the top and use the back of the spoon to spread the honey evenly, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Pop back into the still-warm oven for 3 - 4 minutes to allow the honey to melt into the top off the loaf.

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 - 20 minutes then lift from the tin using the baking paper and place on a wire rack.

Serve thick slices warm or cooled and spread with grass-fed butter. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week and suitable to freeze for up to 6 months.

almond meal/flour

The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.

All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.

coconut flour

Coconut flour is made by drying and grinding the meat of a coconut to a fine texture. Coconut flour is a low-carb flour that's an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein. It's a good grain-free and nut-free alternative but does require a larger amount of liquid than normal when used for baked goods. When replacing in a recipe that calls for wheat flour (or almond meal), use this guide; 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour, add an extra egg and an extra 1/3 cup of liquid. It can be used in soups, gravies and stews as a thickener and adds a boost of nutrition. There are now quite a few brands of coconut flour available and they all seem to perform differently depending on how coarse the texture is. In my recipes I used Organic Coconut Flour from 'Let's Do Organic' and 'Red Tractor Foods' I like their finer texture.

golden flaxseed meal (fine ground)

Golden flaxseed meal is finely ground linseed. You will find it in many of my recipes. It is also a great egg substitute when mixed with water. Flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of carbs. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the key force against inflammation in our bodies. Flaxseed must be stored in the fridge. I like to use golden flaxseed as it is lighter in colour, than the brown variety and produces a nicer colour to your baking.

cinnamon

I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.

baking soda (bicarb)

Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

walnuts

Walnut kernels or meat are enclosed in a rounded hard shell. Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain several minerals, especially high in manganese, vitamin E and B vitamins. Walnuts are also known for their rare and valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Store walnut kernels in the fridge or freezer, as they are susceptible to insect and fungal mold infestations.

egg(s)

I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

honey (unprocessed)

Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

vanilla extract (organic)

Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.

Medjool date(s)

I use Medjool dates in my recipes, I like the flavour and softness of these dates. A bonus, there are no preservatives used with these dates. They blend easy when adding to recipes and give a slight caramel flavour.

Medjool dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.

honey (unprocessed)

Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.